Judge Allows In-App Purchase Suit Against Apple to Proceed

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A federal judge ruled on Friday that a class action lawsuit against Apple brought by parents whose kids racked up tens or hundreds of dollars in in-app purchases can go forward. Apple had asked the court to dismiss the case, but Judge Edward J. Davila of the Northern District of California denied the request, for the most part, though he did agree to dismiss one of the plaintiffs’ claims.

The suit was launched in April of 2011 after a handful of parents were alarmed that their unsupervised children were making in-app purchases to the tune of tens or hundreds of dollars. Crafty developers saw Apple’s iOS in-app purchase system as a way of getting kids to make those secondary purchases, and the parents sought damages from Apple.

That lawsuit and other complaints led to changes in iOS 4.3 that narrowed the window for when one’s iTunes password is needed when making purchases in the App Store and in-app purchases, but the lawsuit is based on the conditions before those changes were made.

Judge Davila agreed to dismiss one of the claims for relief the plaintiffs made, but allows four other claims for relief to proceed. That means the case is narrowed, but can progress.

You can read the complete ruling at ScribD.

[via The LA Times]

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This is ridiculous. In fact, it’s not much different then suing banks when your teenager withdrawls too much money after you gave her your ATM card and PIN, or suing Visa and MasterCard if your teenager overspends on the credit card you gave them. Apple provides parental controls for this very reason, but somehow these brain dead parents put the blame on Apple instead of realizing their ignorance is to blame.

Lee Dronick

Agreed Joe, my only criticism is that shouldit have been off by default.

I have an email alert set up for my credit card account. If it is used then I get notified.


If parents are too ignorant, lazy, or busy to bother setting up ground rules with their children - let alone setting up parental controls which, regardless of default settings, were and are available to them - how is that Apple’s fault? One more situation in which the legal system is basically telling us that there is question whether parents are actually responsible for what their own children do. The entire “blame someone else - especially if they have deep pockets” is a cancer in our society.

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